Sonia Maria Luce Possentini, illustrator, My dog (Il mio cane è come me)
“I’ve always had a dog beside me in my life. I could not be without ».
In this interview, Sonia Maria Luce Possentini, tells us about herself and her latest work: My dog (Il mio cane è come me, with Letizia Iannaccone), a book that exudes deep love for these animals from every word and every table. Enjoy the reading.
Tell us how this book was born and what it was like to work with Letizia Iannaccone, the author of My dog (Il mio cane è come me).
Letizia is an extraordinary woman. We “sniffed” each others and immediately loved. They are alchemies that happen between people, as between animals.
I find her writing powerful and true: few but effective words, which have left to me some “pencil space”.
This book was born, like all things you love: knowing them and respecting them in their nature.
Tell us about the techniques you used to make the boards and the inspiration that guided you
Technique: traditional. Pastel, colored pencils… and lots of joy!
More than a true inspiration I would speak of a good knowledge. I have always had dogs, since the age of three. Never been without and never will. This relationship represents an experience of extraordinary value; each dog has a personality, just like us humans. The relationship I have with my dogs (Nina, 11, and Mia, 7) is one of unconditional love and great responsibility. I know them and they know my moods. We are in perfect harmony, I couldn’t ask for better. The merit of all this lies in the awareness of their nature, their needs. They are my family.
Mia, in particular, was a source of inspiration; is a dog with a great intelligence and sensitivity.
How the path begins and, before that, the passion of a professional like you?
It wasn’t easy, maybe it never is… let’s say I struggled a lot. First because my path was linked to restoration, and therefore to a completely different world. Then, I had to face many complicated and difficult things, which led to a very long time before becoming an illustrator.
Perhaps for this “delay”, now all that comes to me is a gift, and leaves me, dare I say, a kind of childish enthusiasm. Something that I missed but never went away.
Advice for a young aspiring illustrator?
Always work with humility and respect. You don’t build the world, not even your own world, in one day. Be curious, omnivorous and available.
Tell us what your studio is like, the place where you work
My studio is now large, at least bigger than the attic where I used to live. It is a warm and enveloping nest (at least for me and for what I need), with the door and window overlooking my garden that I care for and love and from which a lot of inspiration comes from there.
There are many libraries and many books. Nina and Mia’s kennels, many hanging stories, gifts and glass vases where I collect and put everything inside. That punctually something ends up in a drawing.
There is an old bear sitting on an old chair, the walnut stool that my grandfather built for me.
The photo of my grandmother with her friends dressed the same and a pearl necklace that the photographer gave for poses when he came to the country.
A large photo of Pasolini, a Pinocchio whale made of papier mache that a friend from Havana gave me. Tables for drawing, computer scanners and everything you need to do this job…
But above all, there is an old printing cabinet, where I put the ideas that come to my head, the speeches of the people I meet. The photos I take, the thoughts I listen to. Every now and then I open it and it swells my heart.
In short, here in my studio is my story, interesting or not, I don’t know, but most of all we are here, with and without queues.
Wishes and plans for the future that you would like to share with us?
I am an enthusiast, I plan continuously, I am in constant relationship with my curiosity, surprise, experimentation and the desire to get involved.
I never feel at a point of arrival, rather at a constant beginning.
There are many beautiful things in the pipeline, but as I said, I am surrounded by an unstoppable passion for everything that manifests itself in my feeling. Sometimes even unreasonably. I have that stubbornness typical of those born in Garfagnana, my homeland (Sonia Maria Luce Possentini was born in Canossa Di Reggio Emilia, upper Serchio valley, Tuscan-Emilian Apennines, ed).
I don’t know the negative boredom or the frustration of the blank sheet, I don’t even know how to explain it. But every time I find words that give me emotion, images start and everything starts and starts again, like a beautiful dance.
With years and years of sacrifice, patience and experience. This one is absolutely necessary for everything.